On Friday I went with my friend Jackie to visit Althorp Estate, the childhood home of Princess Diana.
Only open to the public a few weeks out of the year, this huge estate in Northampton was a treat to visit.
It is the current residence of Diana’s brother Charles, the 9th Earl of Spencer. Before touring the inside of the home, I was able to MEET him! He was doing a quick, 15 minute meet and greet in the gift shop (because every normal home has its own gift shop, right?)
He was kind enough to sign my copy of his book, The Spencer Family, and asked a couple of questions about my time and studies in England.
We had time to kill before the next tour began, so we wandered around the estate’s grounds.
I was able to see Princess Diana’s grave and memorial. It was beautiful and so peaceful. I didn’t take a picture of her actual grave, which is located on a tiny island on Round Oval Lake, surrounded by water. I figured that since she had been so harassed by photographers in life, she should be free from that in death.
On the other side of the pond was a large memorial to Diana.
Other visitors had left flowers, cards, and little trinkets in front of the memorial.
I loved the quotes displayed on either side of her picture. On the left is one of my favorite things she has ever said. On the right was a dedication by her brother.
Jackie and I then had tea and snacks inside the old horse stables, which have been converted into a little cafe. The old stalls are now little booths and seating areas.
The raspberry and ginseng tea was delicious!
Unfortunately, there were no pictures allowed inside the house.
Althorp Estate has been in the Spencer family for over 500 years and currently has a very impressive art collection. Nearly every room we went in had huge paintings adorning the walls.
The single most expensive painting in the house currently costs over 27 million pounds! (Sadly, it isn’t for sale – I asked)